1. Pat, you are a wonderful designer, seamstress, quilter, and crafter, how long have you been sewing and how did you initially become interested in this wonderful craft?
Thanks for the "wonderful" part! Truth is, I was only 9 years old when I threaded my first needle… and couldn't stop since! I've always been into arts and crafts of many sorts (including home improvement, now that's an art!), although I never went for a formal art education. Everything I know today is a result of experimenting and just overall pure passion for sewing, fabrics and design.
2. There are so many aspects of sewing, designing, creating, what aspect of sewing is your favorite?
Sewing is such a wonderful experience! The fact of creating something from scratch is double-rewarding; on one hand, you get to keep the brand-new project for yourself (or maybe use it as a gift for someone special), and, on the other hand, you get that feeling of satisfaction and self-realization that no one can take away from you. So I'd have to say that the actual creation part is my most favorite.
3. When you are designing a project, what is the process that you go through to achieve the final design?
Every single project has a common starting point; I sit down with my team and think "What does the modern woman need and want in a bag/quilt/garment?".
In every project I try to combine both functionality and style to create something that the sewer can find not only useful but also beautiful. For example, if I'm going to create a project for a tote bag, I think "Where is she going with this bag?", "How many pockets will she need?" "What items will she carry?", so by taking this questions as a starting point, I can then decide what fabrics and notions go well with the type of project.
4. When your fabric company broke into the quilting industry, you had some of the most unique and beautiful fabric out there. The quality, colors, and designs are gorgeous. Can you tell us a little bit about your company and how it came to be as well as the process that goes into making your gorgeous fabrics?
Thanks again for all the compliments! Well as I told you before, I've always been into arts and crafts, so designing fabric for me was a natural process…
My first steps as an entrepreneur though, were into embroidery, believe it or not. I used to do all sorts of home decor, kitchen and bath items and sell them at home parties… it was so much fun! But then I started getting into hand-painting… and what did I paint? Fabric! I started experimenting with different techniques and colors, and a couple of years later, Art Gallery Fabrics was born.
The making of the fabric is such an extensive and fascinating process! Once the print is designed, it is sent to Asia where the printing process begins; screens are made specially for each design, and, once the exact color is achieved (to get to the right color, workers mix tones by hand until reaching perfection), the fabric is painted through the screens, and after some finishes, the fabrics is fresh and ready to go.
5. Personally, I have always wondered how long it takes to make one single fabric design, from its beginning design process to the time it takes to get that design onto fabric and out to the consumer. Can you explain how it all works?
Well, the time it takes always varies. As a designer, I always use a color palette as a starting point for a new collection; until I haven't decided the colors, I can’t really do anything else! Once I have the colors, I then start letting my imagination flow… I can be working on a print for couple of days or… more than a month until I achieve the design I have in mind!! My inspiration is always a balanced mixture between the trends for the season, and my own instinct and likes that drives me to create a new line of fabric. I always think that every print has to work for sewing as well as quilting… hope it's working so far!
6. You also have a line of threads with Signature that coordinate with your fabrics. I own them all and use them on my long arm on customer quilts. They are wonderful colors! What inspired you to come up with a line of threads and can you explain the process?
As you may have noticed by now, I'm a total color-freak! Color is such an important aspect of each and every one of my designs, that I thought it would be a shame not to have the right color of thread to match them… As a fabric designer, quilter and sewer I've found myself very limited as far as the variety of color threads available in the market. I've seen the need for newer and fresher colors to bring my fabric designs to life, and I believe my palette for Signature threads does exactly that.
7. Where do you see yourself as a designer in 10 years from now?
10 years from now… Well, I hope that my designs can translate into other kind of products aside fabrics, and that many people can enjoy them the same way quilters and sewers do today. Oh!... and also hope to be able to get back to my sewing room like the old days!
I hope you all have enjoyed this interview!! Fantastic, thank you Pat for your inspiration!
Now for the giveaway, there will be 2 prizes!! You have seen the wonderful photos throughout the post, right?
Well the first prize consists of a package of:
PURE ELEMENTS: The purest hues meet Art Gallery Fabrics' soft hand and superior quality. The line features 10 tantalizing colors, carefully selected to match most of our collections.